News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Something for Your Labor Day Cookout

Long weekend with some Kosher Franks direct from Knebworth England 1979, here's Mr. Led Zeppelin and his band doing the cooking with a outbreak bit of Mad Cow spiked "Hot Dog".

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lincoln-Douglas in DeWitt County with a Celebrity Guest

Of course we all remember the Abe Lincoln quote "I do hope," he said at Clinton, Illinois, on October 14, 1859, "that as there is a just and righteous God in Heaven, our principles will and shall prevail sooner or later," presumably not referring to a Khoury League game at Waterworks park the only other site in town of such lofty and heated rhetoric. But another Civil War grandee was also in Clinton a few years earlier, in conjunction with a court case, along with a long time Lincoln opponent.

There was a case in Judge David Davis’ court (the old 8th Judicial Circuit) wherein the Illinois Central Railroad was sued by a farmer for damages ensuing from the construction of a right of way. Abraham Lincoln represented the Illinois Central. Stephen A. Douglas represented the farmer. The trial was postponed until the chief engineer of the Illinois Central, George B. McClellan, came down from Chicago to testify in the case (presumably for the Illinois Central).

General George McClellan went on to be a controversial but professional leader of the Army of the Potomac, and Democratic Candidate for President in 1864.

My question: Who was the Farmer, represented by Stephen Douglas?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Welcomes New Advertiser: John Armstrong is proud to welcome agriculture advertisers to this page, including John Armstrong. John provides Corn Shelling and Hay Baling services throughout DeWitt County and Central Illinois.

Please patronize Wapella business.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

RIP Kevin Duckworth

Former EIU basketball star Kevin Duckworth has died at age 44 at a basketball camp in Oregon. Duckworth, a basketball great at Thorton Thornridge, Eastern Illinois and an two time NBA all star with the Portland Trail Blazers was a dominating 7ft 275pound center, who could shoot, rebound and put on heavy defensive pressure. Duckworth led EIU in its transition to becoming a Division 1 basketball program in the early 1980's.

He also played with the Washington Bullets, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers before ending his career in 1997.

RIP Kevin Duckworth

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thanks from Steve and Shelby

IT'S A DONE DEAL, thanks in no small part to Wapellicans and Sean should be receiving his dog in 9-12 months. The dog will surely make public appearances in the various tourist locations (elevator, church, etc.) around Wapella shortly after we get home from training. All said, the benefit raised over $11,000. WOW! Total donations have exceeded $17,000!!! Any money in excess of Sean's fundraising goals will go to help other children who are struggling to achieve their own goals.

THANK YOU ALL for what you have all done in Sean's behalf for 4 Paws For Ability and on the behalf of the other children who will benefit from your generosity.

Again - our thanks,
Steve and Shelby

Image courtesy of Dog the A&E TV Bounty Hunter

Friday, August 22, 2008

Glen's Back! New Glen Campbell Album Released

Just when you thought you'd heard it all, one of the greats of Country and Pop music is back with a new album "Meet Glen Campbell (Again)".

Glen sings some (not all the new anymore) newer songs from the likes of the Foo Fighters and the Replacements and plays the guitar like only Glen Campbell can.

Buy it here if you like

HT: HG for pulling this one out.

Here's Glen doing an mournful old favorite "Dreams of an everyday housewife" with a full fledged orchestra from 30 years ago.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Historical Funk

A question for our dedicated readers, derived from a recent trip to Galena. I seem to recall from an Illinois History class that Issac Funk, the pioneer businessman developing quite a bit of Central Illinois, made his original trade as a ferryman around the Galena area.

Did I get that right, or did he only do business around Heyworth/Wapella/Downs/Bloomington?

Also for 2 points, what trade were the Warners (of JW Bank fame) in before Banking?

Quiz Answer: The Warners sold construction material and supplies to the Illinois Central Railroad as it was being built through Central Illinos. If I recall, the specialty was berm (the hard pack that is under elevated track).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Advertiser: Houchin's Super Market

Houchin's Super Market takes the concept of a grocery store to an entirely new level. What other shop can sell you fresh killed beef, as well the latest in Television Receivers from RCA and Admiral?

Please patronize Houchin Super Market, located at Green's Hall in Wapella, IL on Main Street.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Congrats Sgt. Wheat!

A quick notice of congratulation to Sgt. John Earl Wheat on his Friday wedding to his lovely bride CJ. The two plan a reception in the Chicago area for later this fall.

Full Salute to John Wheat.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Press Release from L&M Enterprises

L&M Enterprises, one of the leading agricultural operations in DeWitt County in the 20th century, would like to congratulate Lawrence and Bernadine Toohill on 50 years of marriage. Bernadine nee North wed Lawrence Patrick Toohill resulting in 50 years of excitement, adventure and various trips to Wapella, Heyworth, and St. Louis.

A reception will be held today in Wapella, with all Toohills, villagers, and customers of L&M Enterprises welcomed. Residents of Wapella are notified to expect extra Toohills in the village and take appropriate measures to welcome them to Hog City

L&M Enterprises is a registered Illinois corporation. No portion of this message is a solicitation to sell securities or purchase livestock. The information is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy, nor does it serve as an official record of your invitation. Your official Lawrence and Bernadine invitation may be sent by alternate media, or there may be no invitation at all. L&M Enterprises does not warrant ancillary events unassociated with L&M. This has been a paid commercial announcement from L&M Enterprises.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Check Your Bets: Cards vs. Cub in the Summer Classic

Nothing better than taking an early Friday Afternoon out at the Ball Park with the greatest rivalry in sports history (excluding the Kickapoo conference, of course). Wrigley today 1:20 PM Looper vs. Lilly, see you there.

Here's John Fogerty with a nostalgic song from his comeback album Centerfield in 1985. Kind of odd to have a comeback when you are only 40, but he was 12 years out of the business at that time, closing CCR at age 28,

Ellen Holland 1928-2008: Saint, Titan and Wildcat

Ellen D. Holland, 80, of Clinton, died at 7:18 a.m. Wednesday (Aug. 6, 2008) at Manor Court, Clinton.

Her Mass Of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Wapella, with Rev. Fr. Patrick Henehan and Rev. Fr. Robert Hoffmann officiating. Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Wapella. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with the Rosary at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Memorials may be made to the Diabetes Foundation or Alzheimer's Foundation.

She was born April 9, 1928, in Bloomington, the daughter of James A. and Josephine Carroll Ryan. She married William R. Holland on May 24, 1951, in Clinton. He passed away Feb. 2, 2002.

She is survived by two sons, Rick (Vicki) Holland and Jim (Shelley) Holland, both of Wapella; one daughter, Mary Westfall, Wapella; nine grandchildren, Holly Morris; Sean (Suzanna) Holland; Kelly (James) Murphy; Casey Holland; Reggie Westfall; Corey (Jaime) Holland; Stacey Portscheller (Mike); Kelsey Holland; and Megan Johnson (Andrew); seven great-grandchildren, Haley; Kaehl; Maci Kate; Hannah Faith; Maxwell; Clare; and Sofia; and one brother, James (Marilyn) Ryan, Mesa, Ariz.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Wapella.

She came to Wapella upon graduation from Illinois Wesleyan in 1950, to teach history, geography and later physical education. There she met her husband while selling tickets at a basketball game. While raising her family she continued teaching at Wapella both full and part-time retiring in 1970. Always a sports fan, she played in a women's softball league from 1960 to 1963 making lifelong friends. Later she stayed physically active with golf and mentally sharp playing bridge, again making lifelong friends.

She and her husband enjoyed their trips to Ireland, Curacao and Mexico as well as their weekend getaways with friends.

Her greatest joy in life however was her family. She always supported her grandchildren and great-grandchildren's school activities.

She possessed an incredible lust for life and anything chocolate. Her memory will be fondly kept by those who loved her.

Her family thanks the staff of Manor Court of Clinton for their compassion, patience and professionalism during her illness.

Ellen (along with her husband Bill) were great supporters of St. Patrick's Parish in Wapella, Wapella (and Holy Trinity) Schools, and the Wapella Community, developing Holland Brothers (with John Holland) into the leading plumbing and heating companies in Central Illinois, making plumbing to this day the major employer in town. A grand, gracious and very Irish lady, Ellen remained a key part of Wapella even after a move to Clinton in the 1970's. Ellen frequented school, parish and family events.

Our condolences to the Holland family on the loss of our friend Ellen. May she Rest in Peace.

Thursday, August 7, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Ellen Holland

Ellen Holland, a longtime Wapella resident, and matriarch of the Holland family has died at age 80. Our condolences to the Holland family. More details to follow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Did Paul McCartney Just Drive By Lawndale?

This story is odd enough to actually be true, from the Springfield Journal Register: (One thing is for certain, the other guys in the picture are definitely from Central Illinois, perhaps Lawndale if I cipher the tattoo correctly)

Name the last person you would have expected to see last weekend at the Circle K gas station on Clear Lake Avenue. No, it wasn’t him. He’s at the White House packing for his trip to Asia. And, no, it wasn’t him either — he’s still in a cave somewhere on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

It was Paul McCartney. Or a really well-done hoax. You probably find the story hard to believe. So did we. Especially when the witnesses claimed that Sir Paul was driving a 1989 Ford Bronco. But, you know what? It all adds up.

On Saturday afternoon, a group of Springfield guys stopped at the Circle K on their way to St. Louis for the Cardinals-Phillies game. While in the parking lot, they saw someone walk by who looked just like McCartney. “We were getting in the car as he was walking in,” says C.J. Lowder. “I said, ‘Man, that looks like Paul McCartney.’”

The Bronco parked on the side of the gas station, not in the front. The man who looked like Sir Paul didn’t buy anything inside, but used the station, just off Interstate 55, for a “pit stop.” Nobody at the gas station even noticed him, Lowder said.
“Josh (Lowder, C.J.’s brother) said ‘Hey, Paul!’ and he said, ‘What’s up?’ with this real thick English accent, and I knew it was him,” C.J. Lowder said. McCartney said he and his girlfriend, Nancy Shevell, were on their way to St. Louis, but not to the ballgame.

He posed for a picture with the boys — besides Josh and C.J. Lowder, they included Jared Lowder (a cousin), plus Cory Neuhoff and Jeremy Judd. McCartney then spent a couple of minutes talking and left.
“He was definitely trying to stay low-key, for sure,” C.J. Lowder says. “It was just a couple of minutes. He shook all of our hands.” “Another thing that got me,” says Josh Lowder, “was that of all the older people in the place, none of them recognized him. C.J. recognized him, and he’s the youngest one.”

Coincidentally, Decatur Celebration hosted a Paul McCartney tribute band on Saturday. Was this merely the impersonator? No. In an interview, the impersonator, Ron Starr (R. Starr?) admits he looks nothing like Paul and is much younger. Pictures of Ron Starr confirm the lack of resemblance.

But how about that 1989 (or thereabouts) Bronco? Paul McCartney? One of the richest men in show-business history? Come on.
But wait. It had New York license plates. Nancy Shevell lives in New York. The vehicle at the gas station had a yellow access sticker to the Hamptons on the bumper. Both McCartney and Shevell have places in the Hamptons. And then there is the clincher. In November, the Web site Gothamist posted a photograph of Paul and Nancy kissing while sitting in an older-model Ford Bronco.

That is what people in the news business like to call “independent confirmation.”
“It was wild,” says C.J. Lowder about running into a Beatle at a Springfield gas station. “It was one of those things I never would have expected to see. They were super nice. “Nobody got his autograph, it happened so fast. You could tell he didn’t want to draw a huge crowd. We talked for a while, and he said, ‘Well, I’ll let you get going to the game. Go Cardinals!’” It’s not as if Sir Paul was playing a concert in Europe last weekend and couldn’t have been here. McCartney’s Web site shows that his last concert was a week ago in Quebec City, and he is not on tour. The Quebec City show was just a one-off for the city’s 400th birthday.

McCartney’s public relations manager in Britain, Stuart Bell, could not be reached Monday for confirmation of the star’s whereabouts. At the Circle K station, manager Tim Kelley took the news of McCartney’s visit in stride. Kelley’s not the star-struck type. But his clerk, Martie Brandon, flashed a little Beatlemania. “Oh, my god, and I left at 2 o’clock!” she said, slapping her forehead. McCartney was seen just after 4 p.m. “If I’d have just stayed a little longer ... .” Brandon admitted she gets excited when Carl Madonna from WICS-20 stops at the Circle K. Much less an actual Beatle. “I’m not going to do anything special,” Kelley said. He won’t, for example, put up a sign on the men’s room saying “Paul McCartney was here!”

Besides, Kelley said, he met Paul at an Aerosmith concert years ago in St. Louis. McCartney at his station? No biggie. “I’m not one to get too thrilled about things like that,” Kelley said. “I do,” Brandon chipped in breathlessly, “when it comes to Paul McCartney.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sharpen Your Image and Improve Your Looks

Advertisers continue to flood, driving sales revenues to high ground. Today we welcome, Rabbits' Barber Shop on Main Street in Wapella. Rabbit Crum delivers the latest haircutting to Wapella with little fuss and much flair.

Monday, August 4, 2008 begins Advertising Program

At the suggestion of many of our loyal readers, has begun to accept advertising for local businesses as a way to offset costs of our editorial and publishing operation.

Our first advertiser is Virgil "VA" Goodlick of Wapella. Virgil does General Tractor and Automobile Repairing, Welding and Machine Work in his Wapella garage. His prices are reasonable and he is very knowledgeable about his profession.

Please patronize this and every other Wapella Business!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Consume you it will: Early Examples of Yodish found in Wapella

We all know that Yoda, the green muppet in the Star Wars movie speaks in a backwards style, trying to put the punch line ahead of the joke, "A teacher I will be", for example. But did you know that early forms of the Yodish syntax have been spoken in Wapella for 80 years now. Yes, on this day in 1928 the catchphrase "What can I do you for" was first spoken in Hog City in another undocumented Wapella historical first.

What does it mean? Learn you must to understand you will. Or in other words, I am not really sure, but say "What can I do you for" some time in a Hog City gathering and wait for the laugh riot to begin.

Update: In an odd coincidence, August 1, 1988 marks the first mention of the catchphrase "Been Behaving?" in Lane, Illinois. Good work Lane!

Here's celebrating 80 years the oratorical gem "What can I do you for", another Hog City original.

How about Buck and Don doing the comic Tiger By The Tail for a hot Friday?

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